Broken Glass, Buried Fish, Bird Feeder, Carving and Sketching

On Thursday afternoon I went to the Ministry of Transportation to pick up license plate stickers. I arrived at the storefront office at 5:01 PM and the door was locked. The manager appeared at the door - she was supervising the final line up of customers. I mouthed 'I just need to pickup stickers' and showed my documents through the thick plate glass window. She smiled and unlocked the door and I muttered something about being grateful and that I wouldn't take long.

Fifteen minutes passed and the line grew shorter. People would arrive at the door, and the manager would turn them away, gesturing at the closed sign on the door, and backing up the gesticulation with a single-fingered point to the hours posted on the door. As I was about to get to the next available service representative, a shadow appeared at the glass window. The shadow didn't seem to want to leave. It appeared to want to come in. The manager said no. It lingered and from the corner of my eye I could see the manager trying to suppress a smile and mouthing 'No - CLOSED'. She seemed to be enjoying her role.

Just as the man ahead of me shuffled his papers together and tucked them under his arm, ready to go, the room erupted in a blast. The plate glass door exploded to my left and the manager jumped back. Everyone else just froze and I turned to see a tall young man in a green jacket run away from the door. I thought he had maybe thrown a cinder block through the window, and scanned the floor over the shards of glass. Then I wondered if he had used a shot gun. Someone then said he had turned his back to the window, and hoofed his foot through the glass. I was in a fairly bad part of town so the shotgun would not have been out of the ordinary - when I got home my wife told me their had been reports of gunshots in the area I was in.

Today I buried Number 2. Number 2 was the name that my wife gave to the plecostomus we had bought over 5 years ago. He was not the first fish, the first fish was Sigmund. Sigmund had accompanied me from apartment to apartment since university. He outlived Alfred (Adler) and Carl (Jung). But Number 2 outlived Sigmund (Freud). We said goodbye to Sigmund two years ago.

Number 2 had been floating a little oddly for the past week, shuffling about in the water - clearly in a dreamy state. He gave up the ghost last night. I carved a headstone from a piece of pine and buried him beside the rose bushes. It was a good bit of carving with my Mora, not polished or anything, but it will do.

I carved it outside in the backyard - the weather was amazing, the snow is melting and the grass is showing its little arms and legs and noses and ears. I tidied up the backyard a bit, and put the bird feeder up on a pole. The feeder had been hanging from a low cherry tree the last year, but I've been worried about the neighbour's cats. They like to feed at the bird feeder too. If you know what I mean. Monty lay about in the sun while I was up to all of this. All in all, it was a good afternoon.

I am going to read through a couple of books this evening - one on the illustrations and sketches of Bill Mason and another on the illustrations and sketches of Keith Brockie. I see a pattern evolving. I think I'll start a bit of sketching this spring.



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